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Cherry Picker Course Training and Costs

Mobile elevated work platforms or MEWPs are mechanical devices that provide flexible access for people and equipment to perform jobs at great heights. Sometimes called aerial work platforms, scissor lifts, or cherry pickers, MEWPs are ideal for cleaning, painting, maintenance work, construction, and even emergency services. They can also be used for electrical supply and distribution, film and television work, telecommunications, and stock picking. No matter how you’re going to use an MEWP, however, it’s undeniable that working at heights can present several hazards. That’s why you need proper MEWP training classes before you commence with any job with this type of equipment. Here are just a few details to keep in mind:

Do You Need a Licence to Operate a Cherry Picker?

Licencing is not mandatory to operate MEWPs in New Zealand; however, machinery operator training is required. As the Health and Safety in Employment Act states, “Employees must be adequately trained in the safe use of equipment in the place of work.” In this case, “equipment” covers MEWPs.

Why Do I Need a Cherry Picker or Scissor Lift Training?

For employers, it’s part of your responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of your employees. This means giving MEWP operators proper training so that they can perform their jobs effectively and safely.

For individuals who are looking for jobs, on the other hand, will benefit from completing a cherry picker course. This is because many companies are now looking for contractors who not only have necessary qualifications but also recognised training.

What’s great about receiving MEWP training is that it increases a person’s confidence in operating the equipment. This results in less risk of errors, increased productivity, and, ultimately, time and cost savings.

What Are the Dangers Involved in Operating Such Machinery?

As previously mentioned, working with MEWPs involves a lot of hazards. Not only are you working above-ground, but you’re also working with a complex piece of equipment with a lot of moving parts. Handled improperly, MEWPs can cause property damage and injuries in the following ways:
  • Collisions. An untrained or unskilled operator may cause the MEWP to hit pedestrians or vehicles, resulting in injuries and damage to property. In addition, a MEWP may also hit overhead power lines. This can cause power interruptions, as well as potentially lethal injuries like electrocution.
  • Entrapment. Sometimes, a worker can get trapped between the platform and the wall, scaffoldings, or any fixed structure.
  • Slips and falls. Slips and falls are common accidents in most workplaces, but especially dangerous when working on high places. In particular, the MEWP’s wheels can roll over an obstacle like a pothole and jolt the worker out of the platform.
  • Overturning. If the MEWP is parked on uneven ground, it may overturn (especially if the boom is fully extended) and throw the worker out of the platform. MEWPs also run the risk of turning over during windy conditions.

When you take an MEWP course, you’ll learn how to prevent these dangers, as well as manage risks and hazards.

What’s Covered in a MEWP or Cherry Picker Training Course?

MEWP courses aim to provide participants with an understanding of how MEWPs work. In addition, there will also be in-depth discussions of the dangers that can be caused by the improper use or handling of MEWPs. Finally, a MEWP training course teaches the participants how to identify hazards that can be directly or indirectly caused by the machinery.

Many MEWP training courses also cover the following:

  • Risk management training
  • Operational skills and procedures
  • Health and safety in the workplace
  • Different types of EWPs/MEWPs and their various applications
  • Safety features of EWPs/MEWPs
  • Legislative requirements related to the MEWP Code of Practice

Who Should Undergo a MEWP Course Training?

Anyone who needs to perform work using MEWPs should complete a theoretical training course (NZQA Unit Standard 23966). Afterwards, they should continue with the following courses:

  • Scissor Lifts (NZQA Unit Standard 23960)
  • Boom Lifts (NZQA Unit Standard 23962)

These above-mentioned course are required for all succeeding M/EWP training modules, which include the following:

  • Truck-mounted Lift (NZQA Unit Standard 23961)
  • Trailer-mounted Lift (NZQA Unit Standard 23963)
  • Vertical Lift (NZQA Unit Standard 23964)
 

After taking the said courses, participants are expected to have sufficient knowledge about different types of EWPs and MEWPs, their purpose, and their safety features. Moreover, they should also be able to operate an EWP or a MEWP following manufacturer’s recommendations and the machine’s specifications, all in compliance with industry requirements.

The participants are expected to be able to perform worksite assessments, carry out operations, and prepare an EWP or MEWP for work. Finally, those who undergo the course should be able to determine if there are faults or damage in an EWP or MEWP, and shut down the machine as necessary.

How Much Does MEWP Course Cost?

A MEWP training course costs around $350 + GST per person. They usually last for a day, or around 8 hours.

MEWPs are definitely useful machines, but they’re also quite dangerous at the hands of those who don’t have proper training. With the right cherry picker course curriculum, you can learn how to operate a MEWP the right way, apply your learnings in various fields, and ensure safety in the workplace.